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Fritz Feld
Fritz Feld
Credits
Roles Maestro Alfredo Ferranini (Bewitched)
Pietro (Tabitha)
Biographical Information
Birth Name Fritz Feilchenfeld
Birthdate October 15, 1900
Birthplace Berlin, Germany
Death Date November 18, 1993 (age 93)
Death Place Los Angeles, California, United States[1]

Fritz Feld played Maestro Alfredo Ferranini in the fifth season Bewitched episode, "Samantha on the Keyboard" (1968), and Pietro, the maître d', in the Tabitha episode, "A Star Is Born" (1977). His famous trademark was popping his mouth with the palm of his hand, an action he performed with aplomb in both roles.

Biography[]

Fritz Feld was born as Fritz Feilchenfeld. Born in Berlin to prosperous Jewish parents, Feld became stagestruck at the age of twelve when his father gave him a puppet theatre. Determined to be an actor, he auditioned for Max Reinhardt's Deutsche Theater, but was rejected because of the lisp that was later to become his stock in trade. Eventually accepted by the Deutsche Theater, he appeared in many of their productions, and acted as Reinhardt's assistant. He made his film debut in the expressionistic Der Golem (1917), playing, appropriately, a court jester. More film offers followed, but he decided to emigrate to the United States because of the anti-Semitism that was poisoning his homeland.

Soon after arriving in Hollywood, he was hired by Ernst Lubitsch, an old friend from his Berlin days, as a script-reader. Acting roles began coming his way and they kept coming for over seventy years. Feld's films include Tovarich, Hollywood Hotel (both 1937), Idiot's Delight (1939), The Phantom of the Opera, Holy Matrimony (both 1943), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), Call Me Madam (1953), Barefoot in the Park (1967), Hello, Dolly (1969), The Sunshine Boys (1975), A Fine Mess (1986) and Barfly (1987). He was cast as milliners, movie directors, psychiatrists, spies, composers, hotel clerks, impecunious noblemen, but mostly as waiters and maîtres d'. He even played a maître d' in the Roman Empire sequence of Mel Brooks's History of the World, Part I (1981).

Brooks, a great fan, also used him in Silent Movie (1976). Jerry Lewis, another fan, employed him in eight films. At the age of 89, Feld acted in two television movies.

Married to Virginia Christine for fifty-three years, he was a proud father of two sons and a diligent worker for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild and local theatre groups. He and his longtime friend Joseph Schildkraut were the co-founders of the prestigious Hollywood Playhouse.[2]

References[]

  1. Fritz Feld on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 18, 2020.
  2. Vosburgh, Dick. "Obituary: Fritz Feld", The Independent, December 2, 1993. Retrieved on February 18, 2020.
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